With more than 5,000 companies being sued under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) over the past two years for in-accessible websites or app, claims have reaching a rate of one-and-hour in 2019.
With the majority of those companies outsourcing their website and app builds, a new clause will most likely be added to RFPs, procurement requirements and contracts that moves the responsibility of "ensuring websites or apps comply with ADA to the companies' to vendors, agencies and other third parties.
New legal avenues are providing digital accessibility advocates such as the Federation of the Blind a powerful tool to effect change in the digital world but this can also be an opportunity for vendors.
Companies that compete for website and native app projects should not take this responsibility lightly, The State of California is being sued by a San Francisco blind organization for spending $66 Million on a website that is not accessible. The contract required the vendor to take specific steps to ensure that the website complied with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The vendor did not and is now involved in a costly lawsuit with one of its biggest clients.
Vendors with Strong Digital Accessibility Practices Will Stand Out
With challenges come opportunities. Vendors that establish and communicate clear and robust accessibility practices will stand out in RFP's and Presentations. They will be able to increase billing and expand accessibility services from initial build through maintenance phases.
Accessibility also fits into the broader benefits of Customer Experience which agencies already promote as a core value of their service, so extending this area to being inclusive to all will satisfy clients socially and legally requirements along with driving more users and more revenue for clients.
What Do Vendors and Agencies Need to Create a Competitive ADA Advantage?
- Establish a robust accessibility testing and verification processes to ensure websites and Apps are ADA compliant
- Provide teams with accessibility training to fill knowledge and technology gaps
- Acquire cutting edge tools for teams in order to the reduce time it takes to include accessibility
- Provide clients with reports that confirm projects have been built to ADA standards and are being maintained
- Build Accessibility costs into RFPs, driving project hours for agency design, Dev and testing
- Engage an Accessibility expert or consultancy to provide support to your team and clients with initial and on-going certification of each project delivered
UsableNet provides free resources that agencies can download to understand the 4 core stages of Accessibility for Web add App Development - Plan, Test, Fix and Maintain. Download our Free Web and App Accessibility eBook today to get started.